§ Mr. Stratton Mills
asked the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how many square feet of factory space has been provided by the Ministry of Commerce in each of the last two years; if he will break down this figure according to the size of the units; and what plans he has for the future.
§ Mr. David Howell
In the two years to 31st March 1973, the Northern Ireland Ministry of Commerce provided the following factory accommodation:
Year ending New factory premises (sq. ft.) Number of units Extension of existing factories (sq. ft.) Number of units 31st March 1972 609,554 17 705,452 25 31st March 1973 388,839 13 503,844 24
The units ranged in size from 1,200 to 161,000 sq ft.
The 30 new factory units provided include 19 built to the Ministry's standard plans, as follows: 3 of 50,000 sq. ft., 3 of 30,000 sq. ft., 4 of 18,000 sq. ft., 7 of 7,000 sq. ft. and 2 of 3,000 sq. ft. Other units were designed to tenants' requirements.
The Ministry will continue to build factories to meet specific requirements. It will also maintain its programme of advance factory building so that factory space will be available in advance, or at least under construction, at growth and key centres.
§ Mr. Stratton Mills
asked the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how many square feet of warehousing space has 581W been provided by the Ministry of Commerce in each of the last two years; if he will break down this figure according to the size of the units; and what plans he has for the future.
§ Mr. van Straubenzee
In the year ended 31st March 1972, no warehouse accommodation was provided by the Northern Ireland Ministry of Commerce. In the year ended 31st March 1973, 150,000 sq. ft. of warehouse accommodation was built. The buildings were designed for disposal in multiples of 5,000 sq. ft. In the current financial year, buildings to provide a further 100,000 sq. ft. of warehouse space are under construction. In addition, the Ministry has recently assumed responsibility for the contracts of the new town commissions for factory and warehouse buildings. These range from 2,200 sq. ft. to 41,000 sq. ft. in area and total 297,000 sq. ft.
The availability of warehouse accommodation is constantly under review, and the Ministry's involvement will depend on the state of the market.